Legislation Against Unionization of 'Workfare' Clients in Ontario

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Fri, 15 May 1998 07:02:42 -0400


Friday, May 15, 1998

Lay off workfare, labor told

 By JAMES WALLACE, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU
 The province introduced legislation yesterday banning unions from
 organizing welfare clients in the government's workfare program.

  Social Services Minister Janet Ecker said "some unions" have tried to
  "undermine" the mandatory program by "threatening to unionize
  welfare recipients who participate in community placement or by
  harassing community agencies that are offering to help."

  "Union opposition will not deflect us from our goal," Ecker told the
  Legislature.

  Canadian Union of Public Employees leader Sid Ryan responded by
  vowing to throw up picket lines around any community agency or
  business that uses workfare clients.

  Ryan warned private sector firms: "If you're a WalMart or a Canadian
  Tire or a McDonald's ... we'll drive your business away. We'll boycott

  your workplace.

  "It'll cost them millions to take in a couple of welfare clients," he
said.

  NDP critic Peter Kormos called the proposed law "the foulest, most
  repugnant, vilest piece of legislation."

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